SCOOP EDITORS NOTE: CBS News is being attributed with breaking the news of White House foreknowledge of the 911 hijackings. The following are links to their Scoop reports.
What Bush Knew Before Sept. 11
(CBS) President Bush was told in the months before the Sept. 11 attacks that Osama bin Laden's terrorist network might hijack U.S. passenger planes - information which prompted the administration to issue an alert to federal agencies - but not the American public.
CBS News National Security Correspondent David Martin says the warning was in a document called the President's Daily Brief, which is considered to be the single most important document that the U.S. intelligence community turns out. The document did not, however, mention the possibility of planes being flown into buildings.
An agent in the FBI's Arizona office did, however, speculate about that, writing in his case notes about Zacarias Moussaoui that Moussaoui seemed like the type of person who was capable of flying an aircraft into the World Trade Center.
It was the observation of an agent taking notes as he thought about his case - an observation whose significance simply did not register at the time.
White House On The Defensive
(CBS) Under fire from angry lawmakers, the White House on Thursday defended its decision not to alert Americans to information before the Sept. 11 attacks that Osama bin Laden's terrorist network wanted to hijack U.S. airplanes.
President George W. Bush had received only general, nonspecific information, during a vacation briefing at his ranch Aug. 6, that bin Laden's group was considering hijackings, and never considered making that information public, said national security adviser Condoleezza Rice.
CBS News National Security Correspondent David Martin first disclosed the fact that the White House had received the bin Laden warning.